cover image The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

The Pigeon Needs a Bath!

Mo Willems. Hyperion, $16.99 (40p) ISBN 978-1-4231-9087-5

Somewhere between aspirations of locomotion, pining for a puppy, and scrambling to finish an activity book, the Pigeon got pretty dirty. Don't tell him that, though. In enduring Willems style, the Pigeon invites reader participation through questions, provocations, and wild gesticulations. With Pigeon evidently besmeared with soot, it's a classic case of denial: " %E2%80%98Clean.' %E2%80%98Dirty,' " remarks the Pigeon while making air quotes. "They're just words, right?" He then points the finger (or wing) at the accuser: "Maybe you need a bath! YEAH! When was the last time YOU had a bath?! Oh. That was pretty recently." After nervously smelling himself and discovering that even the flies hovering around him can't stand how stinky he is ("Take a bath, dude!" says one in retreat), the Pigeon finally relents. At the edge of the bathtub, though, he goes through his share of Goldilocks moments, which are presented in nearly 30 tiny sequential panels: "The water is too hot. Too cold. Too deep. Not deep enough." The Pigeon's cockeyed defiance and Willems's impeccable comedic timing are as fun and frisky as ever. Ages 3%E2%80%935. Agent: Marcia Wernick, Wernick & Pratt. (Apr.)